Chris Murray: Razorback Recruit Juan Day Sidelined; HS Football Rankings


At the risk of renaming this weekly column All Things Argenta, the biggest story out of Week 3 of the high school football season has to be the injury to North Little Rock’s standout running back Juan Day. After running for two touchdowns in the first quarter of NLR’s 35-14 win at Pine Bluff, Day emerged from a pile with a hobbled left leg.

An MRI on Monday revealed what onlookers feared – a torn ACL, which will cause Day, who has committed to

juan day

Juan Day

Arkansas, to miss the rest of the season.  Surgery is scheduled for early October, and judging from Day’s twitter account (@dayjuan3), his spirits are high.

Without Day, the Charging Wildcats are still talent-laden and a formidable threat in Class 7A. That said, his loss, and other results from this past Friday, resulted in a shuffling atop the rankings in the state’s largest classification.

Despite their loss to Euless (Texas) Trinity, the Bentonville Tigers move back into the top spot. Bentonville lost two of its three non-conference games, but their strength of scheduled is unparalleled. The Tigers had a 10-7 lead before turnovers led to late touchdowns for Euless Trinity. The Trojans, who feature a large number of players of Tongan descent, put on quite a show for the fans in Bentonville, performing the haka, a ceremonial war dance of Polynesian/Pacific Islander descent.

Springdale Har-Ber recovered from a whupping from Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge with an impressive come-from-behind win over the Southside Rebels in Fort Smith. Despite playing without their starting quarterback and running back, the Wildcats overcame a 27-14 halftime deficit to win 35-27. That earned Har-Ber the no. 3 slot this week.

Meanwhile, the two-time defending Class 7A state champions, the Fayetteville Bulldogs, are 3-0 after going to Muskogee, Okla., waving Old Glory down at the Courthouse, and defeating the Roughers 27-22. And that’s just good enough to merit the fourth spot in the rankings. Southside is at no. 5, with Conway missing the cut following a 23-9 defeat at Cabot.


Junction City, no. 1 in Class 2A, held off no. 3 Bearden 13-8 in an 8-2A clash of two heavyweights.  Bearden led in the third quarter, and had chances to win late. Now the Bears will have to wait until the playoffs for a possible rematch with the Dragons, defending state champs. In another 2A tilt across the state, East Poinsett County knocked off no. 2 Hazen 40-24. With that win, the Warriors jump feet first into the top 5.


Conference play begins in earnest this week around the state. For most teams, this week’s game will be their conference opener. Scanning the schedule reveals some compelling matchups:

  • Springdale Har-Ber at Bentonville. The Wildcats might represent the biggest hurdle for the Tigers and a seventh straight conference crown.
  • Russellville at Conway – These two long-time rivals are back in the same conference (Yes, yes. Forget the 7A/6A split fiasco), and don’t particularly like each other. Big measuring stick game for both.
  • Morrilton at Shiloh Christian – This intriguing matchup could produce the early front-runner in the 5A-West, which has opened up considerably since the ascent of Greenwood to Class 6A.
  • Nashville at Arkadelphia – The Scrappers should provide a true test for the Badgers, who have been one of the most explosive teams on the young season.


Spotted this week: An epic rushing performance by Rose Bud’s Caleb Ferren. The junior was not the Ramblers’ featured back until a broken arm sidelined teammate Cole Robertson. Last Friday against Conway Christian, on a slick and muddy track, Ferren carried 28 times for 307 yards, perhaps the most impressive individual total of the season.



Class 7A
1. Bentonville, vs. Springdale Har-Ber
2. North Little Rock, vs. Cabot
3. Springdale Har-Ber, at Bentonville
4. Fayetteville, at Van Buren
5. Fort Smith Southside, at Little Rock Parkview

Class 6A
1. Greenwood, at Fort Smith Northside
2. Pine Bluff, vs. Texarkana
3. Russellville, at Conway
4. Jonesboro, at West Memphis
5. Lake Hamilton, vs. Sheridan

Class 5A
1. Pulaski Academy, at North Pulaski
2. Camden Fairview, at Hot Springs Lakeside
3. Watson Chapel, vs. Hot Springs
4. Alma, vs. Clarksville
5. Batesville, at Nettleton

Class 4A
1. Arkadelphia, vs. Nashville
2. Pine Bluff Dollarway, at Newport
3. Ashdown, at Pulaski Robinson
4. Hamburg, vs. DeWitt
5. Warren, vs. Crossett

Class 3A
1. Charleston, vs. Danville
2. Harding Academy, vs. Episcopal Collegiate
3. Barton, at Rose Bud
4. Fordyce, vs. Genoa Central
5. Smackover, vs. Fouke

Class 2A
1. Junction City, vs. Strong
2. Gurdon, at Dierks
3. Carlisle, at Palestine-Wheatley
4. Bearden, at Woodlawn
5. East Poinsett County, at Cross County

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